I’m a great fan of Desert Island Discs. I love hearing the human stories of how people from different backgrounds become successful. This week was Jacqueline Gold - infamous for her role in the success of Ann Summers. It was remarkable that she had no formal business or marketing training when she started work experience aged 21 in her father’s company, but intuitively recognised the opportunity.
The INSIGHT came to her at a Pippa Dee party (like Tupperware but for clothes) – ‘We (women) want to spice up our sex lives but we don’t want to go into a sex shop to do that’
She had a VISION to ‘empower women’ (not only in the bedroom; this also stretches to women’s equality more generally).
The seemingly big disadvantage of no business experience forced her to be CUSTOMER-CENTRIC from the start. She talked to her team on the ground, she listened to anecdotal customer feedback, she was emotionally engaged with her customers – her quest was to understand what women wanted and help them achieve it.
More broadly, in this world where the fight for equality is such a slow one, her view is that we really need to change how we bring up boys to be brave and girls to be perfect. People should be encouraged to express their character as it truly is. This supports a hobbyhorse of mine – we all, individuals, brands and businesses alike, need to be more cognisant of the language we use, the expectations we set and the ingrained attitudes that are at odds with empowerment and equality.
It’s a great programme. Have a listen here: Jacqueline Gold - Desert Island Discs